By Lori Perkins
I loved Violent Night, but it is NOT for everyone.
It’s tag line was Die Hard meets Home Alone (two of my fav Xmas movies), and it certainly fulfills that promise, but it’s dark horror comedy with a heartwarming center, and I’m not quite sure there is anything else quite like that out there (maybe 2021’s Black Friday, which I also loved, but this one is better with a much higher budget).
It is also perfectly cast, IMHO.
So, I knew exactly what I was getting into. And I’m a huge horror comedy fan, but anyone who thought they might be getting just a little gore, and doesn’t find bad guy body parts flying through the air as just dessert is not going to love this film.
The premise is simple—the matriarch of a pretty sleazy capitalist family is hosting the annual family holiday gathering in her mansion/estate, and some “bad guys” learn that she has an undocumented $300 million in a vault at home, so they plan on taking it on Christmas Eve, when the kids and grandchildren are visiting. Turns out one of the grandchildren actually believes in Santa Claus and just when the break in starts, he happens to be delivering to that house. She asks for help; he comes though, and we learn that Santa 1500 years old and a former Viking warrior who is very accomplished with a hammer (nicknamed Skullcrusher) reminiscent of Thor.
Needless to say, heads roll in this very bizarre family-centered way.
David Hopper (Stranger Things) is perfect as a pissed-off deadly Santa and it was great to see Beverly D’Angelo (Christmas Vacation) playing an evil rich bitch. And John Leguizamo is just having a great year playing unsavory characters.
I had a blast and will be adding it to my annual Xmas watch list.